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Around the World in 80 Rounds: Chasing a Golf Ball from Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun Hardcover – March 18, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former standup comedian and humor columnist Wood sold his condo in Seattle and set out on a yearlong global golfing journey. He tells a highly entertaining tale of his trip through 22 countries far off the beaten path from the typical golf vacation. He played the first of his 80 rounds on the world's southernmost course at the tip of Argentina and finished in the northernmost climes of the upper reaches of Norway. In between he played a vast range of layouts: a grassless brown track in the Atacama Desert of Chile; spectacular courses in New Zealand and Australia; a course adjacent to the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt; and the only golf course in all of Russia. He suffered various setbacks, such as golf clubs temporarily lost on a South American bus line. He writes well about the terrain and local atmosphere, and provides a deft mix of golf and travel writing. His take on the people of the world is a 48-year-old bachelor's perspective, as he judges Argentina, Chile and Hungary to have the best-looking women and writes longingly of a beautiful foot masseuse in China. Wood's humor is sometimes forced, but like a few shanked shots in an otherwise well-played round of golf, it doesn't spoil the whole. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"David is a very entertaining writer - with a wit and a way of bringing people and stories to life that had me laughing out loud. I look forward to visiting some of the courses he played - hopefully without having to sell everything like he had to do!"  – Bobby Clampett, television golf analyst, golf professional, and author of The Impact Zone

"David Wood's story joyously captures the maddening yet addictive allure of golf as he takes us on a journey every golfer would envy."

-Rick Lipsey, golf writer at Sports Illustrated and author of Golfing on the Roof of the World

 

"David Wood will be a hero to many. He cast off all responsibility except that linked to the pursuit of golf and self actualization. From distant lands he brings rich stories of interesting and amusing endeavors and a picture of a diverse world connected via that ridiculous, compelling and wonderful game of golf. Give this to your friends, they'll love it." 

--Charles Lindsay, author of Lost Balls: Great Holes, Tough Shots and Bad Lies

 

“David Wood’s entertaining and exciting 60,000-mile odyssey reveals the game of golf not as a chin-on-chest battle with the scorecard, but as the perfect medium through which to explore and enjoy the world around you. This is a book that proves golf has far more to offer than most of us take from it – and inspires us to broaden our relationship with the game.”

--Duncan Lennard, author of Extreme Golf and 112 Miles to the Pin

 

 “David Wood has written an inspiring, attention-holding and humorous golfing travelogue. Unencumbered by the ‘trappings’ of life, David set off on his voyage of discovery to far-flung destinations, armed with a vague itinerary, personal documents, a set of ten golf clubs and minimal clothing. Paramount was his ‘eleventh club’—a razor-sharp sense of humor that enabled him to cope with the ebb and flow of world travel. Around the World in 80 Rounds is more than merely a regurgitation of golf, golf, and more golf. Sure, this all-important aspect holds sway, but ample text is accorded to village and city life, and landmarks of note encountered. Indeed, Wood’s excellent narrative provides insight as to how citizens around the globe conduct their lives—both on, and off, the golf course.”

–Paul Daley, publisher and author of Golf Architecture, Links Golf, and Favorite Holes by Design

 

“Forget Jack and Tiger, David is now my favorite golfer!  Keep this away from the responsible crowd, they will certainly get grandiose ideas of great golf trips that might not go over so well with spouses, bosses and financial advisors.”

--Mike Brabham, modestly average golfer

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375775
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished the audio version of the book and, despite the fact that David's reading was a little bit Shatneresque, I'm going with 5 stars. For someone who loves travel, as well as golf, the book should be a great read. As a sometime solo traveler, I have great respect for people who are willing to inject themselves into some scary places and do scary things, and David did that all over the world. I think the 1 star rating is wrong about David's tone, which I found respectful but honest. When he reads the last line of the chapter on Zimbabwe, I think his voice actually cracks a little as he shares his pleasure at having spent the round with the young Zimbabwean caddy who impacted him so much. I don't want a writer to sugarcoat his experiences, and David isn't the first person I've heard come away from India completely exasperated. His love and respect for the game come through very well, and his descriptions of the various courses were clear and evocative.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone has a dream but how many have the courage to make it happen? If you play golf, you'll enjoy reading about the different courses, golf and travel challenges and get David's glimpse into local cultures. If you don't play golf, it's still funny and inspiring. In our post 9/11 world, imagine someone taking a year out of his daily routine and "to do" list to live a dream of traveling around the world alone, living each day fully, and connecting with strangers through a common passion - some strangers becoming new life friends. Give this to family and friends to enjoy funny stories about playing golf world-wide and perhaps to be inspired to have courage to leave one's comfort zone and go on their own life adventure.
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Format: Hardcover
"Around the World in 80 Rounds" is the laugh-out-loud funny story of a self-proclaimed golf nut who sells almost all of his personal belongings to criss-cross the globe playing the game he loves.

While author David Wood's humor, honesty and humility, make "Around the World in 80 Rounds" a must-read, it's his innate ability to not only tell readers about his trip, but to allow them to tag along that transform it from "book" to "experience."

Wood avoids pontificating about far away lands most of us will likely never visit, and instead offers the reader the seat next to him, whether it be on a plane, train or rickshaw. He provides information, anecdotes and introductions to some of the world's most unusual golf venues and allows the reader to make up his or her own mind.

It's not just the countries and their golf courses David is able to bring to life. From start to finish, David fosters introductions to a cast of characters -- some likeable, some not -- and gives the reader a unique look into those characters' cultures, conflicts and complexities.

There are few people brave enough to put their life on hold and, on a whim, take a trip around the world to tee-it-up. Fortunately for readers, David is one of them. While "Around the World in 80 Rounds" is choc-full of stories about golf, David doesn't write about how far he hits a 3-wood or all the intricacies of his short game. He realizes his journey was about more than that, and after reading "Around the World in 80 Rounds," you will, too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wood does a great job of taking you on a golfing tour of the world from south to north. fellowship of the golf community, the kindness of people around the world, and the variety and location of golf courses make this a very enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Heard this author interviewed on a local sports station. He seemed engaging and funny, so I hopped on Amazon. Received the book pronto and took it on a long trip (too much time in the airport). The book helped the time fly and it was fun! Author's style of writing makes you feel as if you are his caddy and standing by his side. You could almost feel the altitude sickness as well. I will be on the lookout for other books of his creation and hope he follows in the steps of other world travelers and has many more adventures. Well worth the price and time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. David did something that maybe less than 1% of the entire planet's population would even dream of doing and we are lucky he shared the experience. Almost felt like I was there with him traveling across the globe and I really liked the way David focused on the cultures and the peoples. Whether you are a golfer or not, there is so much that is worth reading in this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't played golf since I was 19 years old, threw my club in a water hazard and stalked off the course. But David's book intrigued me and I ate it up over the course of two lazy afternoons in my backyard, laying in a hammock with a cold brew. (Two Person Jumbo Hammock ~ 100% Polyester with Oak Spreaders I say go ahead and spring for the hammock along with the book - you'll be glad you did!)

My minimal amount of time on the links gave me enough knowledge to follow his references to the game, but it was his briskly humorous spinning the tale of his around-the-world adventure that grabbed me up when he left Seattle and didn't set me back down until he landed safely home again. What a fabulous experience -- and brightly told!

While it didn't do anything to spark my desire to tie on a pair of spikes again, Around The World In 80 Rounds did whet my appetite to be a bit more bold and try to see some of the more obscure corners of the world. Maybe David needs a caddy for his back 80...
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